Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Onion industry welcomes signing of NZ/EU free trade deal

The New Zealand onion industry has welcomed the signing of the free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU).

It says the deal will see the elimination of tariffs worth over $6 million annually on onion exports to the EU and has also addressed technical barriers to trade.

“The EU is the number one market for New Zealand onion exports. Tariff savings of 9.6% puts the New Zealand onion industry on a level footing with competitors such as Chile and South Africa,” says Onions New Zealand chief executive, James Kuperus.

“I’d like to thank officials in New Zealand and the EU for supporting export industries like onions which play a key role in regional economies across New Zealand. Growers from South Auckland to Canterbury will benefit from this FTA.”

Mr Kuperus said it was now important that the New Zealand Government post-election passes the necessary legislation to bring this FTA into effect so producers and exporters can make use of it next season.

“This agreement is furthermore important given the extremely difficult season onion producers have had in the North Island,” he said.

In the year to March 2023, the New Zealand onion industry exported $143million worth of onions to 45 countries, and employed 1,050 people. 

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